Mortar Dating Methodology: Assessing Recurrent Issues and Needs for Further Research

Roald Hayen, Mark Van Strydonck, Laurent Fontaine, Mathieu Boudin, Alf Lindroos, Jan Heinemeier, Åsa Ringbom, Danuta Michalska, Irka Hajdas, Sophie Hueglin, Fabio Marzaioli, Filippo Terrasi, Isabella Passariello, Manuela Capano, Francesco Maspero, Laura Panzeri, Anna Galli, Gilberto Artioli, Anna Addis, Michele SeccoElisabetta Boaretto, Christophe Moreau, Pierre Guibert, Petra Urbanova, Justyna Czernik, Tomasz Goslar, Marta Caroselli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Absolute dating of mortars is crucial when trying to pin down construction phases of archaeological sites and historic stone buildings to a certain point in time or to confirm, but possibly also challenge, existing chronologies. To evaluate various sample preparation methods for radiocarbon (14C) dating of mortars as well as to compare different dating methods, i.e. 14C and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL), a mortar dating intercomparison study (MODIS) was set up, exploring existing limits and needs for further research. Four mortar samples were selected and distributed among the participating laboratories: one of which was expected not to present any problem related to the sample preparation methodologies for anthropogenic lime extraction, whereas all others addressed specific known sample preparation issues. Data obtained from the various mortar dating approaches are evaluated relative to the historical framework of the mortar samples and any deviation observed is contextualized to the composition and specific mineralogy of the sampled material.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1859-1871
Number of pages13
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona.


  • OSL
  • lime
  • mortar dating
  • radiocarbon AMS dating


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